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  1. The Mets are close to closing on five of those $20 million ownership stakes

    Jan 11, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

    mets logo hat

    The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets are close to sealing the deal on five of the $20 million shares they’ve been trying to sell. The owners have been approved by Major League Baseball and the deals could close by the end of the month.  The Daily News: With that, the…

  2. Dodgers, Fox settle TV rights dispute

    Jan 11, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

    dodgers logo

    The last possible thing preventing Frank McCourt from meeting his deadline to sell the Dodgers by April 30 was the ongoing litigation he and the Dodgers had with Fox over the Dodgers’ desire to auction off future broadcast rights prior to a sale.  That potential barrier is gone now, as the Dodgers and Fox have…

  3. UPDATE: Reds ink Ryan Madson to one-year, $8.5 million deal

    Jan 11, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    madson getty

    UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the deal is worth $8.5 million guaranteed while Bob Nightengale of USA Today adds that it includes some performance-based incentives. The Phillies will receive two draft picks as compensation for Madson, though the new CBA stipulates that the Reds will not surrender their first-round pick.  Instead, the Phils are…

  4. Phillies focused on a one-year deal for Cole Hamels

    Jan 10, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds

    Cole Hamels can hit free agency next offseason, but a contract extension doesn’t appear to be on the agenda for the Phillies this winter. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Phillies assistant general manager said tonight that the club is focused on negotiating a one-year deal with the left-hander. “We’ve had discussions with Cole,” assistant…

  5. Cardinals sign catcher Koyie Hill to minor-league contract

    Jan 10, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

    Koyie Hill Getty

    Koyie Hill was non-tendered by the Cubs in December after batting .194 with two homers and .545 OPS over 153 plate appearances in 2011, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the has latched on with the division-rival Cardinals on a minor-league deal. Hill, who turns 33 in March, has a .211/.275/.298 batting line…

  6. Brewers and Carlos Gomez avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 6:20 PM EDT

    Carlos Gomez

    Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers and Carlos Gomez have avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year deal worth around $2 million. Gomez earned $1.5 million last season while batting .225/.276/.403 with eight home runs, 24 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .679 OPS over 258 plate appearances. The 26-year-old was arbitration-eligible…

  7. Mariners sign reliever Aaron Heilman to minor-league contract

    Jan 10, 2012, 5:02 PM EDT

    Aaron Heilman

    Aaron Heilman had an ugly 6.88 ERA for the Diamondbacks last season, so not surprisingly he’s had to settle for a minor-league contract and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that he’s signed with the Mariners. After being released by the Diamondbacks in mid-July he latched on with the Phillies and then the Pirates, but failed…

  8. Keith Law to stay at ESPN after interviewing with Astros

    Jan 10, 2012, 3:44 PM EDT

    keith law

    UPDATE: Two weeks after news that he’d interviewed for a spot in the Astros’ front office, Law just tweeted: “I have chosen to stay with ESPN. It was a difficult decision, and I’m very grateful to the Astros for the opportunity.” ========== ESPN.com writer and former Blue Jays special assistant Keith Law recently interviewed for…

  9. Prince Fielder-to-the-Mariners talk is “extremely overblown”

    Jan 10, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

    Prince Fielder

    There have been random reports that Prince Fielder is talking to or at least is interested in talking to the Seattle Mariner. And, sure, it makes some amount of sense given the Mariners’ needs.  But Jerry Crasnick spoke with two agents who have had contact with people in Seattle, and it sounds like there’s nothing…

  10. What if Ted Williams was a free agent?

    Jan 10, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

    Ted Williams

    Ted Williams was once asked by a reporter where he’d play if he was a free agent and could sign with any team.  You get a few guesses at which team it was before you click through. OK, did you click though? He only gives some basic reasoning, but I could totally see that.  At the…

  11. Kendrys Morales cleared “to begin running on his own power”

    Jan 10, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    morales getty

    After visiting with a specialist in Colorado last week Kendrys Morales has been cleared “to begin running on his own power,” according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Morales hasn’t played since breaking his ankle in May of 2010, suffering multiple setbacks along the way after initially hoping to be ready for Opening Day of last…

  12. Checking in with R.A. Dickey on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Jan 10, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

    R.A. Dickey

    As we’ve noted a couple of times, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. As in, he’s doing it right now.  And the New York Times is running his journal entries.  Don’t read it if you prefer your ballplayers to say stuff like “I just want to help the ballclub” and “I just want…

  13. Mets re-sign 40-year-old Miguel Batista to minor-league deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 1:21 PM EDT

    Miguel Batista

    As part of their ongoing effort to stockpile cheap pitching depth the Mets have re-signed 40-year-old right-hander Miguel Batista to a minor-league contract. Batista was called upon to make a spot start in the Mets’ season finale and shockingly threw a complete-game shutout against the Reds to lower his ERA to 3.60, but his overall…

  14. Report: Bud Selig to get a two-year extension

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:41 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    Bill Madden hinted at this over the weekend — and of course, we always knew this –but Buster Olney is now reporting that Bud Selig is not going to retire at the end of 2012 as promised. Instead, he’s going to get a two-year extension to stay on as Commissioner.  The vote should happen this week…

  15. Buster Posey aiming to take batting practice and run the bases in early February

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    posey wide

    Time for another update on Buster Posey‘s recovery from the broken leg that ended his sophomore season on May 25. Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Posey has now progressed to 30- and 60-yard sprints along with additional agility drills and “mild distance running.” Posey has yet to go through live batting practice and isn’t…

  16. Chipper Jones is feeling his age

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carroll Rogers has a Q&A with Chipper Jones.  There’s some stuff in there about how he’s lost a bunch of weight and is eating better, but I can’t in good conscience say that he’s In the Best Shape of His Life.  Because Jones — who has always come off as…

  17. Cardinals to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House next week

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Obama First Pitch

    To celebrate their World Series title the Cardinals are scheduled to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House on January 17. Albert Pujols is not expected to be part of the visit and according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the Cardinals may also head to Washington without their…

  18. Did Lou Whitaker’s presence hurt Alan Trammell’s Hall of Fame case?

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Alan Trammell

    Larkin is in, Trammell is not, and likely won’t ever be.  This despite the fact that they were remarkably similar players.  Grant Brisbee takes that up over at SB Nation today and, after doing the standard statistical comparison, he adds a couple of new wrinkles to that now-familiar lament.  The first: Trammell suffered because Cal…

  19. Hiroyuki Nakajima returns to Japan after failing to sign with Yankees

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    nakajima getty

    Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima failed to reach an agreement with the Yankees after they bid $2 million for his exclusive negotiating rights, so he’s returning to his old team in Japan. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker notes that Nakajima has signed a one-year deal with the Seibu Lions worth around $3.6 million, adding that the…

  20. Quote of the Day: Jon Heyman on Jack Morris

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    Jon Heyman has been a Jack Morris supporter for a long time.  And that’s fine. He’s in the majority — the two-thirds majority as of yesterday — in believing that Morris is a Hall of Famer. But he tweeted this a few minutes ago and it rather irks me: Look, if you like Jack Morris…

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